Apple is one of 40 companies to sign an open letter published Wednesday by the Human Rights Campaign. The letter protests U.S. bills that will target the LGBTQ community — in particular trans people.
One such bill is the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act. This was passed last week by the Alabama Senate in Tim Cook’s home state. It would make it a felony for doctors to prescribe puberty-blockers or hormones to minors. Companies signing the letter say that legislation such as this does not reflect their values.
They also claim that bills of this sort hurt companies by reducing employee productivity and customer service.
“These bills would harm our team members and their families, stripping them of opportunities and making them feel unwelcome and at risk in their own communities,” the letter (which can be read here) reads. “As such, it can be exceedingly difficult for us to recruit the most qualified candidates for jobs in states that pursue such laws, and these measures can place substantial burdens on the families of our employees who already reside in these states.”
In addition to Apple, other tech companies signing the open letter include (not a comprehensive list) AT&T, Airbnb, Dropbox, Google, IBM, Lyft, Microsoft, PayPal, Salesforce, and Uber.
Apple supports LGBTQ rights
Apple has frequently lent its name to supporting legislation promoting LGBTQ equality. This has included previous work carried out by the Human Rights Campaign. In 2015, Apple released a statement to the group reading, “At Apple we believe in equal treatment for everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. We fully support the expansion of legal protections as a matter of basic human dignity.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been awarded the “Champion Award” from LGBTQ educational organization GLSEN in recognition of his ongoing fight for LGBTQ rights.
Recently, the company released the Apple Originals docuseries Visible: Out on Television on Apple TV+. The five-part series examines media depictions of LGBTQ people through the history of television.